SC!FY: Technology for People
Responding to today’s digital age, a Greek non-profit organization has emerged with the intent to make a difference in human accessibility. The company is called SC!FY, and its core idea is that science should be accessible to all people without exceptions. In other words, humanity is the main owner of all its works. Its primary goal is to solve real life issues using cutting edge technology.
What is SC!FY and how it was created?
SciFy, a Greek non-governmental organization (NGO), was created in 2012 in order to solve problems that people face in everyday life, especially problems with disability and lack of access to information. George Giannakopoulos, a Greek researcher whose area of expertise is Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), created this organization with the help of various colleagues, entrepreneurs, and volunteers. He and friend, Vassilis Salapatas, have managed to obtain significant sponsorships from institutions and other non-governmental organizations to support their endeavors.
Work based on our needs
SC!FY is human-centered, and its staff constantly tries to offer people useful services that will fulfill their everyday needs. For instance, free electronic LEAP games were launched for blind children, so that they can enjoy playing tic-tac-toe, tennis, or curve; they are available in both Greek and English. Everyone has the opportunity to try this new technology thanks to its free access.
Areas of interest
SC!FY offers programs that supports assistive technologies, e-democracy, organizational intelligence and civil society. Assistive technologies include applications that can be used as useful tools for disabled users, such as ICSee or ICStudy. ICSee improves the vision of a user with impairment, and ICStudy improves the user’s hearing.
SC!FY’s organizational or business intelligence programs consist of many interesting projects from natural language processing to data mining, which were launched with the collaboration of the Greek Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications, Demokritos. NewSum is one of the projects that can be downloaded for free in the Google App Store. This application is revolutionary as it produces a summary for every news article a visitor will encounter on various websites. Consequently, a visitor can read the highlights of the news and avoid the repetition that can be rather annoying. Another successful application is PServer, which offers recommendations on what to see or to read based on a user’s internet search history.
The Platform of Political Innovation and DemocracIT both promote E-democracy. The first tool informs citizens about their rights and obligations as citizens of state, and the second includes projects that promote volunteering in the community and participating in online communities that discuss serious social and political issues. These projects are: VoluntEasy, Active Commons, eDESK and City-R-Us.
Academy, Knowledge and Blog
In ancient times, the philosopher Plato established the “Academy” in Athens in order to promote the knowledge. Now, SC!FY has formed its own Academy in the form of public conferences where experts talk about technological issues and raise digital awareness. Also, SC!FY runs a blog on its website for posting its organizational news.
The NGO and the economic crisis
The organization’s contributors are very satisfied with SC!FY’s progress, especially given the recent, tremendous reduction in economic resources. Furthermore, this innovative company has achieved a lot for the people, and the contributors seek to offer even more in the near future not only in Greece, but across the globe as well. As Mr. Salapatas mentioned, “Our aim is to stand on our feet and to have a social impact worldwide”.
This is only the beginning…what’s coming next
According to Salapatas, SC!FY will publish new projects that will be accessible to everyone in the near future. For example, they will soon launch a fourth game for the LEAP program, an educational game, for children that are visually impaired. It will be a memory game that will function with sound cards. It is a variant of the classic memory game that requires the player to match the cards by remembering the location of every hidden card. This memory game is in the process of a charity crowdfunding campaign, which starts March 15 and ends in late April.
Meanwhile, the company continues to develop other innovative projects involving data mining and analytics by artificial intelligence. So, we are waiting for bigger results and more challenging applications to be published very soon!
For more information:
Thissio, Athens – Greece
Photographs courtesy of Vassilis Salapatas
Details about SciFy: Vassilis Salapatas